Sunday, April 8, 2018

Disruptive Change Is Take Place In Front Of Us!

I talk a lot about change, change, change and … change.

Social media is about to go through a major encounter of disruptive change.

Mike Zuckerberg is going to journey to Washington to sit down in front of the Congress.  I hope that the news nets broadcast it live.  

There’s no way a reality show can even begin to capture the drama, emotion, comedy and sequential outcome as will in this case.

Over the years, I have worked a fair amount with high tech talent and personalities.  As linear thinkers of logic and rational thought, they do not cope well with the reality of human society.

The core consumer deliverable of social media is not problematic.  A forum and platform of social exchange between friends.  A forum of conversation.  A forum of sharing of information and news. 

When I make a comparison of social media to phone exchange with access to a 3rd, 4th, 5th … 99th phone line of dialogue, many folks see the similarity. 

More times than not, I have to sit down many entrepreneurs who cherish their ideas and ground them that ultimately their idea has to generate revenue and their smile is replaced with a frown. 

My bet is that Mike Zuckerberg did not start up Facebook with the idea of a social exchange. 

Zuckerberg’s personality is one driven by human interaction and social exchange.  We seldom see him mingling with the masses.  We seldom hear about him reaching out and participating in mainstream society. 

In fact, go and Google his name and pull up the “Images” result page.  Count how many of those pictures are actually taken outside the background of the Facebook corporate blue background screen.  County home many of those pictures do not have a Zuckerberg holding a mike or have one clip to his T-shirt. 

I ponder if the man owns more than medium gray T-shirts. 

Zuckerberg was lured to the whole idea of being able to collect detailed information from individuals and their exchange with others and then take it and sell it to folks, groups, brands and corporations who would like to ultimately use the information to reach and influence those same individuals.

The idea of innovation actually translating to observing human behavior and creating a product, service and brand that provides an experiential deliverable that satisfies an unmet need has been replaced with a different notion.

A notion that has rallied in close to all of the ad agencies and the digital shops… rallied in many of the universities and institutes of higher learner… rallied in Wall Street and Washington.

A notion driven by a belief that in securing tons of data and dialogue of human beings that communications and information can be crafted and molded for any product, service and/or brand to drive those human beings to desire, want, need, buy and engage in the product, service and or brand.

Boiled down to simple terms… humans are no different from computers and can be programed to respond and react however the “master minds” desire.

Social media is about to go through a major encounter of disruptive change.

The media, marketing teams and even top corporate leadership does not see it yet, but I do think that there are some on Wall Street that do.

This past Friday, Wall Street went through another round of churning and value change.  Facebook and high tech is getting hit … and in some cases, pretty hard, but few understand why.

Disruptive change often occurs when the foundation and rationale behind a driver of change (no pun intended) turns out to be false.

A vast number of folks will not have conversation in a forum where that conversation is an open forum for the masses, let alone those who are going to use that information to try to manipulate their mindsets to engage in things that they individually are not pursuing.

This past week, I made a presentation to a group of free-lance creatives who have formed an alliance group here in Atlanta.  A good share of the individuals in this group once wore the titles of Chief Creative Officer and EVP Art Director for some of the big ad agencies that used to dot the landscape.

I presented the 2018 TRENDCAST Report and the Top 10 trends rattling the business and marketing matrix this year.

There were a lot of head shaking in agreement with what I presented.

The group attending was very intrigued by the evolution of the Millennials into a similar change force as that of their Baby Boomer parents.  The fact that many of the same market dynamics of the 1970s might be arriving center-stage all over again.

The way that Boomers evolved from marching on the streets to shopping in the malls is not too different from what is happening with Millennial parents and their ties to social media. 

Just as it was fun for Boomers to rally with friends for free sex and global peace, once there were a couple of kids in the house, Sesame Street and Toys R Us was soon taking center-stage.

If you own stock in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Reddit, get ready to sell it. 

Washington is coming on strong and the fact that Facebook actually opened up access to members of the current President’s campaign team only adds fuel to the fire.

Speaking of the current President… many say he has limited understanding of the manners and etiquette of the Washington establishment. 

Okay… maybe not, but at least he knows how to converse and share what he means. 

Get ready to see a tech geek take the stage in Washington with no prompters and no PR folks glued to his sides.

Entertainment Tonight comes to CNN.

Last week, I also met with a guy that is working with an ad agency that claims a specialty in healthcare marketing. 

This guy is “pioneering” a database modeling system that will take individual patient information and craft routes of strategy to keep the patient healthy and well.  The routes shared sure sounded like behavior changes individually crafted and enforced.

To get the model completed, the team has identified a need to get more specific and updated demographic, psychographic and media use information – not about the marketplace, not about specific audience groups… but instead, on an individual level. 

As I sat there listening to this guy, I wondered if they used the term “trans-gender” in any context to describe database miners wanting to employ group marketing strategy. 

What business leadership needs to begin to grapple with is the process of re-focusing back again on the fundamentals of business beginning with letting go of the false image that human beings can be manipulated through database and interactive online strategy to purchase a product, service and/or brand.

Understand that lots of those dollars that have been channeled over to those digital teams just might register a higher return value if instead they are channeled against market discovery.

A discovery path of going out and listening to audience groups, watching and observing them as they encounter their daily life and work schedules, asking them for feedback and input about how brands deliver against need and gaining insight into what emotions fuel their interaction with like products and services currently.

The title I go by “Discovery Chief” matches well with what I have a passion to do. 

If you want to go down that discovery path with some of those digital dollars that are not resulting in much of a sustainable return… give me a call… 404.245.9378.